Applied Biology BSc (Hons)


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Please note that the last intake to the first year of this course was in the academic year beginning in September 2015. The course has since been revalidated, and if you are interested in starting the first year in 2016/17 or later please follow this link to the latest version.

However, we are still considering applications for from suitably qualified applicants who may want to begin their studies in the second year. Please contact Admissions for advice.

Biosciences are perceived as highly important by the public, and there is a continued demand for degree programmes in this area of study. The Applied Biology BSc (Hons) will help you know and understand better the science of modern biology and will enable you to apply this knowledge in a range of biosciences contexts. You will develop your practical laboratory-based skills and transferable skills. You will also be introduced to ethical issues resulting from technological advances in biotechnology, biomedicine and environmental technology.

caption: Applied Biology BSc (Hons)Year 1
This introductory year introduces a range of subject areas including fundamentals of biochemistry, genetics, physiology and whole-organism biology together with related studies of the diversity of living organisms within the global environment. Your transferable and practical skills will be developed.

Year 2
During this year, your subject based knowledge will be extended and greater emphasis placed on the practical aspects of the course. You will develop critical analytical skills and carry out complex practical and field work exercises.

Placement Year (optional)
In your third year, you may wish to carry out an optional salaried work placement to gain valuable work experience in your chosen field.

Students choosing the sandwich option will spend the year on a placement organised with the assistance of tutors. This year provides valuable work experience and a head start in a competitive job market. Work placements can take place anywhere in the UK.

Final Year
During this final year you will carry out an individual research project in an area of interest. Emphasis is placed on independent learning in both individual and group contexts and you will have the opportunity to evaluate and synthesise complex subject matter in your field.

The programme is designed to prepare you for employment and further study.  During your first year you will be introduced to a range of subject areas and skills that are fundamental to a practising bioscientist.  You will develop your knowledge of the subject in the second year, with an emphasis on laboratory skills, experimental design, data-handling and communication skills. These skills will form the foundation that will support you in tackling increasingly complex assignments and practical and field work exercises, with greater emphasis on group and independent learning.

There will be an opportunity for you to take a placement year between years 2 and 3. While on placement you will submit a monthly log book entry that will be assessed to see how well you have adjusted to the work environment as well as monitoring your industrial supervisors views on your performance and whether you are making appropriate progress.

During the final year you will carry out an individual research project in your chosen area of interest, spending one day each week working in a laboratory with the support of tutors.  A bioethics module will challenge you to research the social and environmental impact of recent developments in biosciences, forensic science, medicine and biotechnology and to debate the ethical issues associated with such developments.

Within the structure of the programme a range of option choices are available to complement the core subjects. You will be able to choose either particular specialised themes such as biotechnology, ecology and the environment, food science, microbiology, nutrition, biomedical sciences or from a range of modern foreign languages or Students into Schools modules to suit your personal interests and aspirations. 

We place a strong emphasis on enhancing the employability of our graduates through the development of transferable skills. Applied Biology graduates have a strong multidisciplinary background of knowledge in biosciences and an extensive portfolio of skills, including biosciences laboratory techniques, bioinformatics, biological/ ecological field work, research and scientific communication skills, problem solving and interpersonal skills. You will leave the programme equipped to enter subject-specific as well as general graduate jobs across a variety of challenging areas, including bioscience research laboratories (in areas related to medicine and biotechnology), the water industry, scientific civil service, teaching, environmental protection and monitoring, conservation and careers in finance and business. 

92% of students are satisfied with the quality of the course overall (Unistats 2015)


FacilitiesWhen you want to get hands-on experience within applied science laboratories we can support you. We teach in large modern, well- equipped labs with audio-visual facilities to enhance our ability to demonstrate techniques or interesting observations.


Discover MoreNorthumbria University is within the Top quartile in the UK for its research power in Allied Health Sciences and Nursing

Northumbria University Department of Applied Sciences from Northumbria University on Vimeo.

Course info


Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time or 4 years sandwich

Department Applied Sciences

Location Ellison Building, Newcastle City Campus

City Newcastle

Start September 2016

Current, Relevant and Inspiring

We continuously review and improve course content in consultation with our students and employers. To make sure we can inform you of any changes to your course register for updates here.

Your Learning Experience find out about our distinctive approach click here.

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